Photos of readers

January 3, 2020 • 2:00 pm

Reader Lee Eberly sent some photos of himself and of a friend, along with these notes:

About fifty years ago I was working on my Master’s degree at the University of South Dakota, studying four species of North American falcons. At the same time my wife and I would rehabilitate injured birds of prey brought to us by locals or game wardens.

A local lad was trapping coyotes one winter near the Missouri River, and set out a ring of snap traps with a dead rabbit in the center as bait. First to be caught was a crow. This then brought in a Rough-legged hawk, which was attracted by the flapping crow. This hawk was also caught in one of the snap traps. Last to arrive was an immature, female Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), which was caught in by its little toe in yet another trap. A game warden was summoned; he amputated the mangled toe, and brought the injured eagle to us for rehab.

She was a lovely lady, gentle and easy to handle. When her toe had healed, we took her back to the wooded fields beside the Missouri, accompanied by the warden, and she was returned to the wild.

Attached are a photo of a 50-year-old photo of me with the eagle.

Will also attach a favorite portrait of a falconer friend with his Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus). It was taken during a photo shoot when we were trying to get a good picture of the Gyr – and she outmaneuvered us.

17 thoughts on “Photos of readers

    1. My thought too.
      It is hard not to imagine countless other poor things stuck in traps in varying stages of distress.

  1. Lee – Greetings from the Biology Department at USD where I am a professor. Thanks for sending in the pictures and the story. I have a copy of your thesis, “Comfort Movements of Four Species of North American Falcons” (August 1969) on my desk right now. There are some nice shots in there as well. Anyway, rest assured that your thesis made it to the “new” building (opened in 1977) and that we are still doing good work along the Missouri and in the region.

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